Australia: Middletons acts for Harbert Private Equity in Techdrill Civil & Mining Services acquisition
Last Updated: 19 February 2012

Middletons acted on behalf of Harbert Australia Private Equity (Harbert) in its acquisition of newly merged Techdrill Civil & Mining Services (TCMS), a diversified mining and infrastructure services group.

Middletons lead partner on the transaction, John Mann said, "Harbert acquired 45% of TCMS, giving the company access to capital to continue to grow in the mining and infrastructure markets. The transaction involved a full due diligence investigation and the preparation, negotiation and execution of a full set of transaction documents."

TCMS was formed in December 2011 from the merger of Techdrill Services (Techdrill) and Rock Drilling Australia (RDA). Techdrill is an established drilling contractor and provides mobile Greenfield and Brownfield drilling services to a large number of resource exploration companies in eastern Australia. RDA is a well known Brisbane based drilling services contractor which provides trenchless drilling services and horizontal directional drilling to infrastructure companies in the electricity, water, sewerage and telecommunications sectors.

Managing Director of Harbert, Jeremy Steele said, "We are delighted to have the opportunity to be part of the TCMS growth story and to be able to invest additional capital and resources to support the continued growth of the group. TCMS has two very successful and highly complementary businesses, with RDA's infrastructure drilling operations providing a natural hedge against the more cyclical exposure of Techdrill's resource drilling business."

In talking about Middletons work on this transaction, Mr Steele said "This is the third transaction in our first fund we have worked on with John and his team. Middletons' experience and both depth and breadth of the team makes them an ideal partner for Harbert – we want to work with lawyers who understand the commercial rationale behind our investments."

Middletons M&A team has had a busy start to the year, something Mr Mann expects to continue for some time, "This flurry of activity, especially among mid cap mining and infrastructure companies, is a product of our booming resources sector. The forecasted capital expenditure in the mining industry and large pipeline of infrastructure projects is fuelling M&A activity and makes for a perfect environment for private equity deals."

Harbert is focused on investment in Australian companies within the mid market, targeting companies with a total enterprise value in the A$10 million to A$100 million range. Middletons has previously worked with Harbert in its strategic investment in Emeis Holdings, the owner of the Aesop cosmetics business and the Sumo Visual Group.

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